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Husserl's "Crisis of the European Sciences"

Author: Edmund Husserl (1859-1938)
Keywords: Edmund Husserl; Phenomenology; Heidegger; Existentialism; Leo Strauss; Allan Bloom; Philosophy; Positivism; Historicism; Science
Language: English
Collection: opensource


2 selections from Husserl's work on the crisis of the meaning of science for life. This is quite possibly the most important work Husserl ever wrote. Husserl's phenomenological analysis ended in the radical analysis of the whole development of modern science.The sections given here indicate the fundamental problem, the historical approach to its elucidation, and the discovery of Descartes as the pivotal figure who originated the essential character of modern scientific & philosophic consciousness. These aspects come to be understood, through their historical development, as incoherent or mutually undermining. This results in the well known distinction between philosophy and science. We are still today in a situation where one may speak of an un-philosophic science, or an un-scientific philosophy. This contradiction leads to the deepest dilemma of modern life, a crisis in modern life. Husserl makes clear here that most men are incapable of living in the light of this grave problem and must seek evasive "consolations". This would include, of course, virtually all "professors of philosophy", to say nothing of mere "scientists". These crucial excerpts are also an entry point for understanding where Martin Heidegger began his project for the 'destruction' of the Western philosophic tradition. See Leo Strauss' essay on Husserl for further in depth study of this great 20th century thinker (Husserl), and his hopeful & envisioned solution to the problem of life's meaning.

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